What you need to know
What are some of the most popular design spaces and architectural sites according to Taipei residents?
Open House, an annual architecture festival, will be held between November 28 and 29 in Taipei. This global festival was first launched in London in 1992, since then over 40 cities have participated in offering their dwellers a chance to explore hidden urban spaces.
This year, Open House Taipei will feature 73 vibrant or secret spaces in the capital of Taiwan, allowing the public to learn about the city and its architecture for free. Due to space and labor restraints, half the open houses require online reservation and they’ve been fully booked.
Some first-time highlights include a metro tunnel boring site, Taipei Broadcasting Station, and Regent Taipei’s presidential suite. In an online poll created by MOOK Magazine, the 10 sites below pique the most interest among Taiwanese.
1. Guanyinshan Reservoir at the Museum of Drinking Water
Guanyinshan Reservoir (觀音山蓄水池) is one of the historical landmarks in Taipei. It’s an underground water storage designed with Greek-style columns. Because of its design aesthetic, Taiwanese have nicknamed this secret spot as an “underground water palace.”
2. Taipei Metro Operation Control Center
The OCC is like the brain of the city’s metro system. Staff who work here command Taipei’s transportation and the daily commute of over 2 million passengers. The massive monitor display, combined with the control desks, looks like something straight out of a sci-fi movie.
3. Tunnel Boring Site
Taipei Metro’s Wanda line at the CQ842 Botanical Garden station is a work in progress. It is built on a historic site on Nanhai Road and would be the smallest metro station in Taipei. When it is completed, the underground tunnel would also serve as a gallery that exhibits cultural artifacts.
4. Chi-Nan Presbyterian Church
Built in 1916, Chi-Nan Presbyterian Church is a redbrick neo-Gothic building that stands out in Taipei. Its arched doors, carved windows, and buttresses were built with Qilian stones, only found in the northern shores of Taiwan.
5. Staff Only Club
Located in a secret spot in the southside of Taipei, a 60-year-old soy sauce factory was converted to an art deco style bar. Staff Only Club is a members-only bar, seducing its clients with an elegant atmosphere and phenomenal cocktails.
6. National Theater and Concert Hall
The National Theater and Concert Hall features four performance venues. These spaces host around 1,000 shows each year since its opening in 1987 and have attracted countless performers. More artists are also taking advantage of the non-classical theater space for experimental art.
7. Luxury Logico office
Behind the iron lace door is a theater-like creative space with a dozen people building and installing mechanical artworks. Luxury Logico is an art collective for technology-centric artists to collaborate on their latest projects.
8. Kimpton Da An Hotel
Designed the famed architectural studio Neri&Hu, Kimpton Da An Hotel combines Taipei’s modern aspects and its elements of “slow-living.” Hidden in an alley of a tourist-heavy district, the hotel offers travelers a sense of tranquility from the city bustle.
9. Not Just Library | Taiwan Design Center
As a new tenant in the iconic Songshan Tobacco Factory, Not Just Library is — like its name — not just a place for storing books. It’s a platform that presents multiple perspectives and inspirations, featuring hundreds of international magazines and over 20,000 design books. Visitors can also find numerous design-related exhibitions and panels here.
10. Taipei Regent Hotel
Regent Taipei is one of the most luxurious hotels in the city, often catering to business travelers. From its elaborate accommodation and high-tech conference venues to exquisite dining experience and custom entertainment facilities, Regent Taipei is beyond comparison.
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TNL Editor: Daphne K. Lee, Nicholas Haggerty (@thenewslensintl)
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